CHESTER -- The Windham Orchestra and PanOpera, in collaboration with Misty Valley Books, will present a four-week course beginning April 17 called "Tosca: A Chester Prelude."

The course, to be held at the bookstore, will consider the history, settings, language, music, composition and human drama of Giacomo Puccini’s opera and will culminate in a live performance of selections from Tosca at the Stone Church in Chester on Sunday, May 11, at 3 p.m.

The course, which will meet on four consecutive Thursdays at 7 p.m., will be led by Luci Fortunato, retired professor of Italian history.

A full semi-staged production of "Tosca" will be given in Brattleboro at the Latchis Theater on May 30, at 7:30 p.m. and on June 1 at 3 p.m., as well as in Northampton at the Academy of Music on June 5 at 7:30 p.m.

The Windham Orchestra and PanOpera will be joined by international opera star and Chester resident Stan Norsworthy, who sings the role of Scarpia.

In "Tosca," there are no gods or mythical figures standing before us but rather raw humanity on display. It is essential Puccini, an ultimate work of verismo: lurid, ravishing and hugely enjoyable.

To enroll in the Tosca course, call Misty Valley Books at 802-875-3400. A freewill donation will be requested at each class. For more information. visit www.mvbooks.com.